With some sadness we demolished the old crumbling house. Now we own a small patch of dirt. It finally seems like we are making progress with the project, and look forward to the next phase.
Earlier, I spoke about our dilemma regarding saving the old house that exists on the lot. The size of the new space would completely cannibalize the 700 SF house. In the end, we decided that the old space could not possibly be well integrated into the new scheme.
We have found a better solution in deconstruction. Nancy has been discussing options for salvaging whatever in the project is worth the effort to remove it. Doors, windows, wood floors, and possibly some of the brick appear to be salvageable -- but at a cost!
Local outfits that do this include Resource out of Boulder. This will add to the cost of the demolition, so we need to evaluate this carefully.
Although the house dates back to 1912 there was little historical value still present. Nancy’s background is preservation carpentry, and I’ve got a lot of experience in historic rehab projects. We’ve saved many old buildings and houses in the past, but those had significant historic character. Nonetheless we are conflicted about the idea of tearing this one down.
We thought about keeping the original footprint and adding on to it so that we could fit a house with a large courtyard on this narrow lot. However, trying to retain the original building (700SF) and add on to it would compromise it and look out of place in the neighborhood.
After honest evaluation we decided that saving this structure is not the place to focus our efforts. We should be concentrating on something new that fits in with the scale and massing of the neighborhood.